In a BuzzFeed story, a former actress named Caitlin O’Heaney has accused Val Kilmer of punching her while she was auditioning for The Doors while director Oliver Stone allegedly “just stood there the whole time laughing.” O’Heaney was auditioning for the role of Pamela, Doors frontman Jim Morrison’s girlfriend, and the part she was reading included a “verbal argument” between the two of them. During the audition, O’Heaney says Kilmer—who was playing Morrison—hit her in the face with a closed fist, knocking her to the ground. He allegedly then picked her up and shook her, then threw her back down. At that point, she says Stone walked her out and said “that got kind of wild.”
O’Heaney filed a police report a month later, and she eventually accepted a settlement from Stone and Kilmer for $24,500—which she says came out to about $8,000 after taxes and attorney fees. The settlement also barred O’Heaney from ever discussing the allegations publicly, which she says she now regrets. After that, she says her acting career “began to suffer” and her agent told her that nobody would see her for readings or auditions. She eventually moved to her home state of Wisconsin and started working for Greenpeace.
Kilmer and Stone didn’t give a comment to BuzzFeed about the story, but their lawyer at the time said that he has “no hesitation in stating” that this case has nothing to do with the trend of powerful people using non-disclosure agreements and settlements to cover up sexual abuse, suggesting that it was just a “workplace mishap.” The casting director for The Doors was also present, and she says all of the actors auditioning were warned beforehand that “there could be physical contact.” She says everything that happened was “part of the scene” but she did “immediately” step in and stop what Kilmer was doing before it got “carried away”—though she denies that he ever hit her in the face. “It was a very extreme reaction to a situation that to me was not extreme at all,” Bramon Garcia said of the legal action O’Heaney took.